The World Health Organization (WHO) has reached out to China for more details following reports of an increase in respiratory diseases among children.
What Happened: The WHO, on Thursday, requested information from China in light of findings suggesting a rise in respiratory illnesses and pneumonia in children, as reported by The Hill. The uptick in illnesses is believed to be due to the easing of COVID-19 measures, leading to the spread of known pathogens such as influenza, mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19 itself.
The WHO is seeking further epidemiological and clinical data, alongside lab results from the reported clusters through the International Health Regulations mechanism. The organization has also requested more insights into the recent trends in the circulation of known pathogens and the current strain on healthcare systems.
Due to overcrowding and extensive waiting times at larger hospitals, The National Health Commission of China has recommended children with mild symptoms to initially visit primary healthcare institutions or general hospital pediatric departments, as per The Associated Press. State media in China has reported that the average patient count in Beijing Children’s Hospital’s internal medicine department surpasses the hospital’s capacity, reaching over 7,000 per day.
The WHO aims to maintain communication with clinicians and scientists in China through its existing technical partnerships and networks. It has also advised people in China to adhere to measures that minimize the risk of respiratory illnesses.
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